Monday, March 29, 2010

Homeward Bound

Howdy y'all!! I'm wrapping up my work trip in Louisiana and can I just tell you - I'm READY to be home! I love the deep South and traveling here but I'm in such a small town that I have experienced being practically off the grid for a week and a half now. No phone service and spotty internet!! Oh how I've missed you, my dear internets!!

And I'm sick of living out of this sloppy suitcase.

I have a question for you - when you travel do you usually unpack your suitcase into the closet and dresser? Or do you just work right out of your suitcase??

I have been working insane hours and I had a couple long and stressful days (like 12 hour days without even a lunch break!!). So guess what my dear hubby sent me? Flowers to my hotel room!! Aren't they cute?? I really wish I could take them home with me.

I've been working so much that I haven't been able to pig out on good southern food like I wanted. I HAVE had some good ole sweet tea that rivals my moms!! Someone recommended that I try this hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and I had the BEST quesadilla I've ever had.

And you should know that I'm a card carrying quesadilla connoisseur.

Say that four times fast.

I've also read two full books while I've been here (that's what happens when you don't have access to the outside world!! ha!)

Both of these were good but I would definitely recommend The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. It's like a fabulous combination of Harry Potter and Nancy Drew.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back Home. No Wait.

Hellooooo!!! I'm back from vacation!

That sound you hear is me groaning. Ha!

We had SO MUCH fun!! We did a Caribbean cruise for 7 days - Miami, Dominican Republic, St. Thomas and Tortola!

1. We got upgraded for FREE to first class on our flights and then we had the opportunity to upgrade our cruise room to one with a balcony for cheap!! We were so excited!!

2. We did a lot of snorkeling. We saw a couple of huge barracudas (at which time I was seriously re-considering the glitter nail polish I had on because they are attracted to shiny objects! Ha!), a sea cucumber, starfish, etc. We also snorkeled a sunken ship.

By the way, I can't say the word barracuda without thinking of Guitar Hero. I'm a little ashamed to admit that.

3. I tried both rock climbing and shuffleboard for the FIRST time on this ship.

4. Our fourth stop, in the Bahamas was canceled because the water was too bumpy.

5. March Madness started while we were on the ship so we got online and printed out brackets. I have never filled out a bracket before!!

By the way, if you filled out a bracket and you're doing well on it, you clearly chose teams based on how cute their jerseys are. Not that I'm judging. Ha!

When we got home I did something I've never done before by immediately unpacking our suitcases and starting laundry. I was home for about 30 hours and I turned right around and flew to Louisiana. I'll be here for work for eight days.

I must get some gumbo!!

Hope you have a fantastic Monday!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Favorite Books

Did you notice I finally finished Jane Eyre?? I absolutely loved it and I think it took me so long to read because I didn't want to finish such a great story. Have you ever read a book like that??

What are your all time FAVORITE books?!??!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring is Springing

Have you set out any Easter stuff yet? It's coming FAST this year!!

On my table I have a wicker bunny filled with Easter eggs Joe and I have painted over the last four years. It's a tradition for us to blow and paint eggs every year and we have quite the collection started! I'd like to find an Easter tree to hang them all from!! Have you seen any cute ones?

I also have this little ceramic bunny relaxing on my living room table.

This watering pail makes me think of Spring!!

Aren't you ready?!?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

B-I-N-G-O Was His Name Oh!

I wanted to show you how easy it was for me to make wall art for CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP (see those prints to the left of the window??)

I found old vintage Bingo cards at my antique mall for a dollar apiece. You could probably print your own out online for free! Or you may have a bingo set that you can pull a couple cards from.

I had these old wood frames in my storage room of farm animals. I think I got them at a garage sale years ago. They've never been used - they were just collecting dust!

I primed each one and then painted the exterior chocolate brown and the inside a cream color and finished it off by roughing it up a bit with sandpaper. I had the paint in my garage already! Big bonus! Any color combo would work!

Then I used double sided tape to adhere the cards right to the frame. Voila!

Have a great day!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Office RE DO

I think I told you a while ago that we decided to bite the bullet and re-do (or just DO because it was never done to begin with! Ha!) our office. It was the primary room in our house that I was embarrassed to show when we had company over; the room I dreaded the most when you give guests the obligatory "house tour".

We painted it and then rearranged the furniture. I really like how it turned out and I actually USE our office now (big bonus!).

1. This was a CHEAP project. Here was the breakdown:

Paint and Supplies... $50
Vintage game table... $70
Other wall art... $3
New computer monitor and office chair... $175
Sheet for futon... $20
Fabric for curtains... $80
Chalkboard paint... $12
Vintage suitcases... $40

We used all the existing furniture we had (including a futon Joe had in college!) and just added the vintage game table and chairs. All the decor on the shelves and desk I already had.

2. I believe in organizing a bookshelf by COLOR not Author ;-)

3. I made the curtains myself. It's the easiest sewing project ever. Four straight lines and you're done!

4. The chalkboard was an old mirror. I used the chalkboard paint you can buy at Home Depot to re-do it.

3. I'm going to show you how I made the Bingo prints tomorrow!! For $3!!!

Have a great day!! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Today we leave for a week long cruise!!! I'm so excited because it's been a long year with Joe starting his residency and many nights spent apart and many pages during movies, dinner, etc. so it's going to be nice to have his undivided attention. Ha!

What better way to start a vacation than a pedicure? I don't do it often so when I do it's a real TREAT!

I also got my hair cut and colored. I haven't had it dyed in YEARS because my hair is so naturally dark. But I saw this picture of Penelope Cruz and loved her subtle highlights and went for it!

And now I realize looking at this picture that you can't see ANY of the highlights. Okay then.

I'm also wearing my new Coach glasses here. I think I told you I ordered them a while ago. Nerd alert! Ha! (style name is Adelle, I think someone had asked me earlier)

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! I have scheduled some posts for next week so I hope you check back! I wish I could bring you with me!! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

25 Most Common Cooking Mistakes

The 25 Most Common Cooking Mistakes YOU are Probably Making:

1. You don't taste as you go
2. You don't read the entire recipe before you start cooking
3. You make unwise substitutions in baking
4. You boil when you should simmer - simmering means a bubble breaks to the surface every second or two
5. You overheat chocolate
6. You over-soften butter - can make your cookies spread too much or cakes too dense
7. You overheat low-fat milk products
8. You don't know your oven's quirks and idiosyncrasies
9. You're too casual about measuring ingredients
10. You overcrowd the pan
11. You mishandle egg whites - best tool for separating egg whites is your hands
12. You turn the food too often
13. You don't get the pan hot enough before you add the food
14. You slice meat with - instead of against- the grain
15. You underbake cakes and breads
16. You don't use a meat thermometer
17. Meats get no rest after cooking
18. You try to rush the cooking of caramelized onions - should take up to an hour
19. You overwork lower-fat dough - stop the mixer before everything is completely incorporated and finish by hand
20. You neglect the nuts you're toasting
21. You don't shock veggies when they've reached desired temperature - you should plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process
22. You put all the salt in the marinade or breading
23. You pop meat straight from the fridge to the grill/oven - it should stand at room temp for 15-30 minutes
24. You don't know when to start over
25. You use inferior ingredients

Okay, now come clean... how many of these mistakes are you making!?!? Let's just say, I'm in the double digits!! Ha!

(Source: Cooking Light magazine)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Party Time

Last weekend Joe and I went to Kansas City to help throw a surprise party for our friend Jill. Saturday morning the birthday girl was lured away from her house so we could decorate. She loves Harry Potter and nothing screams "I just turned 27" than Harry Potter, right?? Ha!

Look at the cake her husband ordered!!

We had all kinds of HP extras but my favorite thing was the drink cups I made up. I went to a lab supply store and bought these beakers. I used chalkboard paint to paint a little square on the side of each "cup". I did a little research to find the names of potions that are used in the HP books and then drew them on the side. (The birthday girl got "aging potion" haha!)

When she was supposed to come home we hid around the corner from the door. Have you ever done a surprise party?? Because MY LORD for some reason I about peed my pants from all the pressure and excitement!!

We are getting so excited to leave for our vacation in a week. I think God really wants us to enjoy the sunny weather we're going to get in the Caribbean because it's supposed to RAIN all week long here in Kansas!!

Do you have any surprise party stories!?!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I went back to the mall today to continue the Quest for the Perfect Swimsuit 2010 Edition. It's no easy task.

I have polled all my closest friends

and in a few cases, strangers on the street

"How many swimsuits does a person need for a week long vacation?"
Align Center
The resounding response: THREE!!!

I stopped into JCPenny and let me take this time for a personal note to self.

Swimsuit shopping after a weekend of eating (and drinking) everything in sight? Just. Say. No.

But I did find one!

I also found Joe some new sunglasses.

I'm going to need a vacation from all the stress from the vacation shopping. Ha!

On a more serious note

Yesterday I met with the University here in town about starting graduate school.

I'm thinking about quitting my job and going back for my Masters.

What do you think? Is there an "ideal" time to go back to school??


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